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Spacewalking Tools

Specially adapted tools allow astronauts to perform critical tasks in space, such as when performing maintenance on the International Space Station or to collect lunar samples on future missions to the Moon.

NASA astronauts Zena Cardman (left) and Drew Feustel (right) use geology tools during a simulated moonwalk in the Arizona desert.

Spacewalking tools play an essential role in an astronaut’s ability to perform maintenance on the International Space Station during a spacewalk or help them collect lunar samples while they are exploring the surface of the Moon. These tools have not only helped astronauts keep the space station operating continuously for over two decades, but will be a vital component to successfully conduct scientific research during Artemis missions.

Quick Facts

Spacewalking Tools on the International Space Station

Learn about the most commonly used tools astronauts use when performing a spacewalk from NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg. Credits: NASA/Woody Hoburg.

Exploration Tools for Artemis and Beyond

Learn more about the geology tools that will be used by astronauts as they explore the lunar South Pole region of the Moon during Artemis missions.

Print your own 3D Apollo 17 Geology Tools

Now you can 3D print your very own display-quality replicas of the Apollo 17 lunar geology tools used by astronaut and geologist Harrison Schmitt!  50 years ago NASA designed tools specifically for the Apollo 17 mission to collect rock and soil samples from the moon.  These are 6 of the tools that were essential to carrying out mission geology objectives and making groundbreaking discoveries on the Moon.

An Apollo astronaut drives a geology tool called a drive tube into the surface of the Moon to collect lunar soil at an Apollo 12 site. Geologists call this a core sample.

Drive Tube

The drive tube was a cylindric tool driven into the lunar soil to collect a soil column. Geologists call this a core sample.

Extension Handle

Extension handles were attached to other geology tools to extend an astronaut’s reach and help them perform sampling operations while standing. 


The hammer was used to break chip sample from rocks and drive the drive tube into the lunar soil.


The rake was used to gather pebbles by separating small rocks from the fine grain particles in the lunar soil.


Soil samples from the lunar surface were collected using the scoop.


Tongs were used for picking up individual lunar rocks.  The tong's jaws opened to retrieve a rock and clamped together to securely hold it until the astronaut was ready to place the sample in a bag.